It takes a talent, patience + tons of creativity to turn a blank slate like Prairie Production into a warm, inviting ceremony + reception venue, and this bride + groom made it happen-on a tight budget, nonetheless! With bold pink + purple florals from Fasan Florist and a menu designed by the groom and brought to life by Honest Foods Catering, this industrial-chic soirée is one for the books. See the rest of the gorgeous images from Carasco Photography in the full gallery!

From the Bride… We were married on Friday, July 13, 2012 (yes, Friday the 13th) at Prairie Production, a photo studio located in Chicago’s West Loop/Meatpacking area. Tony (my groom) and I have been together since college and have since lived together in San Francisco, New York, and now Chicago, where I was born and raised. We are by nature city kids and wanted the reception to feel much like a chic, classy and elegant cocktail party.

We started the day at the Public Hotel, one of my favorite places in the city. It’s a stunning hotel with such a chic, hip feel. I knew that not only would we love prepping there, but also that the pictures would be great as well. Much like the wedding venue, the hotel is very modern, yet comfortable. When the thunder storm (with full on lightening and sideways rain) came plowing through as we were about to leave the hotel for pictures on the lake, I knew it would be all right because the space was so beautiful. As for the wedding, we knew from the second we saw the high ceilings, natural light and indoor/outdoor space that Prairie Production was the place to hold the ceremony and reception. As expected, this was a completely raw space, from the linens down to the bathroom hand soap, which left us tons of room for creativity but also some challenges for budget. We decided to sick with mercury glass, a ton of candles and bright pink and purple for flowers. The choice to have the ceremony at the venue and not a church came as a shock to our Catholic families, but in retrospect it was one of the most intimate weddings most had attended before. My cousins did all the music, which was an amazingly personal touch. The bridal party walked down to a gorgeous version of the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and Tony and I walked out to The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love.” My cousin also sang an Adele song during the ceremony that left no one with a dry eye. We wrote our vows and ring exchanges — both very personal, but we were so happy we went for them.

Tony is a chef, so the food was a key element to the reception, but we really wanted to maintain the cocktail party feel. We did passed appetizers and a buffet with open seating. We found a caterer that let Tony design the menu, which again added an incredible personal touch. Of course, the pastry chef at his restaurant made us a beautiful cake as a present — with champagne infused frosting to die for. Looking back, I am proud to say how much we were able to do on the budget we maintained. From choosing the fonts and design of the invites to the many trips to garden stores for mercury glass and the many music rehearsals with my makeshift wedding band, the night turned out exactly how we wanted, and we wouldn’t change a thing.

Wedding Photography: Carasco Photography / Wedding Venue: Prairie Production in Chicago, Illinois / Design + Planning: DIY by the Bride / Floral Design: Maggie of Fasan Florist / Catering: Honest Foods Catering / Wedding Invitations: Morgan Ingersol, A Friend of the Bride / Wedding Dress: Watters + Extensive Alterations by Mrs. Etta D’Amico / Bride’s Shoes: Vintage / Hair: Jordan Kellam, A Cousin of Bride / Makeup: Ei On You Makeup

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